Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sia, “Reaper”

 

Sia’s upcoming LP, This Is Acting, collects a handful of shelved songs from the Australian songwriter’s undoubtedly massive archive. Although the 12 tracks (14 tracks if you snatch up he Target Exclusive Version) were returned by the likes of Adele, Beyonce, and Shakira, Sia nevertheless feels the compilation consists entirely of unrecognized hits.

The fun, yet ominous “Reaper,” proves to be one of the most promising of five singles released on iTunes so far . Cowritten and produced with Kanye West for Rihanna’s elusive Anti project, the promotional single is a bass-driven slice of charming pop radio. The upbeat, rhythmic production, however, juxtaposes with Sia’s despondent lyrics, with proclamations such as “So come back when I’m good to go/I got drinks to drink, and men to hold/I got good things to do with my life” meant to ward off an early Death.

While the track will undoubtedly appeal to fans of Sia’s 2014 release, 1,000 Forms Of Fear, the award-winning songwriter revealed her own indifference to the song in a recent Rolling Stone interview.  Sia herself preferred “One Million Bullets” and the Beyonce-outtake,”Footprints,”to the sinister “Reaper,” which was only included on the final tracklist of Acting after her manager’s insistence.

Sure, “Reaper” is no “Chandelier” or “Alive.” However, as pickings from the cutting room floor of one of contemporary pop’s most pervasive songsmiths, the track showcases the flexibility that allowed Sia to transition from indie songstress to pop’s most in-demand writers.

Sia’s This Is Acting hits shelves on January 29th. 

 

 

 

 

Mewtwo Returns To Smash Bros, But You’ll Have To Purchase Both 3DS & Wii U Versions To Get Him For Free

Ah, you almost fooled us, Sakurai! Who called it, World?

My Nintendo News

The Super Smash Bros Nintendo Direct has revealed a veteran fighter is returning to the battle. Popular among many Smash fans, Mewtwo is back and ready to take down a few fighters in the arena. Fans will be able to grab him for free in Spring 2015 providing you’ve registered both the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game in a special online promotion. More details will become available in the future on the promotion, so stay tuned.

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Sakurai Says Smash Bros Clone Haters Are Mostly Children And It Cannot Be Helped

Have you been reading my WordPress, Sakurai? 😛

My Nintendo News

Super Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai has taken some time out in his weekly column in Famitsu to explain the cloned characters in the recently released Nintendo 3DS version. Sakurai says that those who are the most vocal about the characters are mainly kids who are just extremely passionate about the game. Here’s what he had to say in Famitsu.

“There are 3 fighters [Lucina, Dark Pit, and Doctor Mario] that are alternate models (clones) in the game. Each was originally a color variation, but during development, they were given balanced characteristics. Since their functionality had differences, forms were separated from each other. However, it was vital that this didn’t increase the required man-hours. Some relative tuning was sufficient as it wasn’t necessary to create balancing from scratch.”

“This is like a free dessert after a luxurious meal that was prepared free of charge. In a restaurant with this type of service, I…

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Fight of the Clones: Why Mewtwo for the Super Smash Bros. Series?

Despite recent stock shortages in Japan, the first portable version of the Super Smash Bros. Series left many fans disappointed. Gamers worldwide were outraged at the inclusion of seemingly redundant character “clones” —essentially, characters that borrow movesets and movements from an already existing character—such as Lucina, Dark Pit, and Dr. Mario. Both the 3DS version and the yet-to-be released Wii U edition of the Nintendo brawler touts an extra 12 characters to Brawl‘s own roster. While the likes of Ganondorf, Toon Link, and Luigi prove to be repetitive, yet essential additions to a game highlighting the Nintendo canon, Dark Pit and Dr. Mario should’ve been obvious candidates for alternate costumes.

In short, I’ve been waiting for this game for 10 years now—specifically, since my 10th birthday when I unwrapped my own smoke gray Nintendo 64, a copy of the original SSB, and Pokemon Yellow. Within hours of playing, I dreamt of a copy of the SSB game I could play anywhere and everywhere.

Then Mewtwo was featured in the SSB sequel, Brawl. Needless to say, I was nostalgically ecstatic.

Mewtwo has long reigned as one of Pokemon’s most controversial members—both in and outside of Super Smash Bros. When Melee was released to cater to the original’s success, the Smash Back Room (forums of the most popular SSB online forums, SmashBoards), listed Mewtwo as the worst character in the series. The website cited an awkward combination of large stature, light weight, and “floatiness”(“Smash Wiki”). Despite impressive throws and and superior jumping abilities, the notorious villain would only climb 5 more spots on the Smashboards list.

Mewtwo clones would come and go.  Lucario, and Greninja were crammed into the series in an attempt at cross promotion with the most recent Pokemon game releases at the time. Nintendo would try to mold Lucario into the newest Pokemon rebel through feature length movies and prominent roles in game storyboards that capitalized on the psychic-like possibilities of “aura” and Lucario’s preference for solitude. It seemed Nintendo itself yearned for the return of its own Frankenstein. Even Greninja’s “Water Shuriken” move in SSB3ds would invoke the nebulous imagery of Mewtwo’s preferred projectile in Melee, “Shadow Ball.”

water-shuriken

True, I am biased. I grew up with the original 151 Pokemon (Yes, Mewtwo was my favorite) and saw the first feature length Pokemon film, Mewtwo Strikes Back, in theaters. This nostalgia, however, seems justified. Sakurai’s decision to not only include Charizard (a first-generation veteran) as a playable fighter (sans Brawl’s Pokemon Trainer) but also his Mega-Evolution as a Final Smash, showed the creator’s own willingness at reaching back to the generation that started it all. Why couldn’t Nintendo capitalize on Mewtwo’s two Mega-Evolution’s which single-handedly raised Mewtwo back from the 90’s and into the awareness of a new generation of gamers? You can stream hours of Youtube videos of Melee and Brawl hackers who’ve created a convincing mod of Mega Mewtwo Y (Watch Here!). Why couldn’t Mewtwo—arguably, the more complex and influential of the two— receive the Charizard treatment?

10 years after receiving SSB, I am by-far pleased with Masahiro Sakurai’s newest release.  I hardly consider myself the gamer or Pokemon fan I was as a kid; if anything, the release of SSB3DS has reawakened my innate game junkie. Still, the likes of Dark Pit and Dr. Mario are agonizing options for such a landmark release in the SSB. franchise. Meanwhile, other newcomers such as Greninja and the Duck Hunt duo (which seem to have replaced the veteran Ice Climbers—or maybe that was Robin?) are quirky, (even refreshing, perhaps?) nods to Nintendo’s past and present.

While many forum lists have debated which Nintendo elites—some veterans, others new SSB possibilities—would’ve been better suited for inclusion in the newest generation of the SSB franchise, I find Pokemon X & Y’s recent unveiling of Mewtwo’s mega-evolutions, and the character’s reputable past in the series as more than sufficient reasons for Mewtwo’s return—in terms of playability and promotion of other concurrent series.

Got a better fighter in mind? Leave a comment below!

Demi Lovato, Unbroken

“And I just ran out of Band-Aids,” belts Demi Lovato on the swooping ballad, “Fix A Heart”. Naturally, this seems like an understatement for what one of Disney’s most popular teen divas has experienced this past year. With the publicity of Lovato’s struggles with bulimia  and self-mutilation piled on top of the departure from the TV hit, Sonny With A Chance, it would seem Lovato would need more than First Aid kit necessities to help her.
Still, the ballad showcases the best –and worst– of her latest album, Unbroken. The most striking element of Lovato’s latest record is the showcasing of her undeniable vocal talent. At only 18-years old, Sonny With A Chance’s has a level of vocal prowess and stamina that fellow Disney queens, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, will probably never achieve.  On ballads such as synth choir soaked “Lightweight” and the empowerment anthem of a lead single, “Skyscraper”, Lovato conquers demanding vocal sweeps with a precision that gives credence to producer and One-Republic frontman Ryan Tedder’s praising of Lovato as a “Kelly Clarkson level vocalist”. Although such ballads prove to be only a minority of the record’s contents, they are Lovato’s most poignant moments, suggesting that Lovato may eventually be capable of breaking free from her Disney roots.
The majority of Unbroken, however, still has Lovato chanting along to bubblegum pleasures that sound as limited as that of any artist still under contract by Disney. The, Timbaland and Missy Elliot featuring club-stomper “All Night Long” includes a superb example of the cliche lines that flood the album’s high-paced tunes: “Let’s keep the party going all night long/All night long.” Despite featuring A-list guests, tracks such as “You’re My Only Shorty” (featuring Iyez), the peace rallying of the Jason Derulo duet “Together” and the guilty pleasure “Who’s That Boy” are at moments laughable with their boring cameos and lukewarm pop rhythms.
While Lovato certainly has the stadium crowding vocals of any chart topper today, the poor songwriting and faux assertiveness of Unbroken stifle the potential for a promising record by refusing to let Demi take off the Mickey Mouse ears.